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The CTCA's Code of Ethics (refer to: Ethics) is changing to better protect the buyers and the breed. We called for comments and questions, and we received many emails and telephone calls. We think it is gratifying to the club and important for the Coton de Tulear breed that so many people take the CTCA's Code of Ethics seriously. Most comments to date have been extremely positive. We'd like to share some of the most interesting questions with you here...
On 5/30/98 2:54 PM, Diane Callison (Dry Creek Cotons) wrote:
Regarding the new Code of Ethics, I have excerpted some quotes and would like clarification...
"... it will be required to have a veterinary examination (with a specific blood test and a CTCA check-off form completed by the vet) and it will be evaluated by the breeder..." When will we see this check-off form?
A new provision of the CTCA Code of Ethics:
"...If I want to mate my CTCA Coton with a non-CTCA Coton (i.e., a stud dog or bitch registered only with another registry), I will register said dog with the CTCA prior to my planned mating. I understand that this dog must pass exactly the same registry requirements that are in effect to classify a dog as "CTCA Breedable." [NB: at this time, the owner need not be listed on the CTCA Breeders Program(tm), but the club recommends that he/she join the CTCA Breeders Program(tm) .
Diane Callison (Dry Creek Cotons) wrote:
If I wanted to breed one of my CTCA registered dogs to a non-CTCA registered dog (but one with FCI registration) and the owner of that dog agreed to have the dog pass the vet exams you [will] propose, BUT that owner (for personal reasons) does not want that dog to be registered with the CTCA, does this mean (A) the pups are not CTCA registerable? and/or (B) I would not be allowed to remain on the CTCA Breeder's List?
Of course any matings occuring before the new COE goes into effect (7/1/98) are covered under the old COE. We should also note here that all other aspects of the Code of Ethics are similarly "grandfathered," e.g., a previously classified "CTCA Breedable" (aka "Show") quality Coton remains so classified and is not required to be health tested and certified (although we think that that would be an excellent thing to do!).
A new provision of the CTCA Code of Ethics:
"..I understand that genetic aggression, a recently discovered syndrome in this breed, is a serious problem. If one of my pups is diagnosed with this syndrome or is suspected to be afflicted with this disorder, I will notify the CTCA of this defect and I will stand by this pup and its buyer. I understand that the CTCA recommends that my sales contract contain a provision to cover this possibility and that it protects the interests of both the afflicted puppy and its owner..."
Diane Callison stated:
I have a problem with this because I have never personally observed "genetic aggression" and don't know that I agree that it is a "syndrome" or even a serious problem. My feeling is that the breed is naturally highly protective -- something that can be confused with aggression -- and that descriptions of the breed's natural temperament have been sugar-coated in the past.
Most breeders should have no problem putting an aggression clause into their contract. Hopefully it will never be used. It is there to protect the buyer from the few breeders who continue to knowingly produce and sell aggressive pups. When CTCA breeders cooperate to protect the buyer, then we are all protecting the breed.
Diane Callison (Dry Creek Cotons) and Juli Renois (CasaBlanca Cotons) questioned this new provision of the Code of Ethics:
"J. Pursuant to article "I" above, I will not subscribe to any other Code of Ethics or policy statement that would render my adherence to any aspect of this Code of Ethics null and void. Acceptance of Article V. "J." must be in writing."
Diane Callison wrote:
Does this mean that if I am listed on another club's breeders list (an agree to follow FCI standards in classifying pups with that club), I will not be allowed to remain on the CTCA breeder's list?
Each year, the CTCA individually responds to thousands of potential buyers (telephone conversations on the seven-day-a-week CTCA HotLine, e-mails to CotonNews, inquiry letters, convention attendees, etc.). This CTCA website welcomes 1,000 visitors each month (an ever-increasing number). In every case, the CTCA directs well-informed, potential buyers to each CTCA Breeder equally. The CTCA specifically informs these buyers -- and these buyers have a right to expect -- that every CTCA Breeder is judging pups according to the CTCA Standard and that every CTCA Breeder is otherwise complying with the CTCA's Code of Ethics. It would render the Code of Ethics quite meaningless for the CTCA to promote "Breeder X" while explaining to a potential buyer that "Breeder X is complying with some provisons of the CTCA's Code of Ethics but not all."
Diane Callison wrote:
I have a problem with the FCI color issue, as you know. But I have an equal problem with the CTCA standard's weight range. I will not classify pups I think will go over 15 pounds as show quality. Does this mean I am not following the CTCA standard? I don't follow the FCI standard because I breed dogs with color -- including true black -- but I inform buyers of the fact that those dogs would not be allowed in the show ring.
Sorry, but you must choose a standard even if you don't like everything in it. A breeder can't pick the parts of each standard or code of ethics that he/she likes and ignore the rest. Note that in North America, a breeder can choose not to be supported by any club (and there are breeders out there who do not conform to any club's code of ethics or judge their dogs to any known standard).
As you know, the CTCA standard is much broader than the FCI's. Dogs that fit into the FCI standard will fit the CTCA standard as well but not necessarily the other way around. Note, too, that the CTCA does NOT dictate any particular preference for a breeder's own breeding program. So, if you or any other CTCA Breeder would like to strive to produce 15 pound Black & White Cotons, you certainly can. Or, if you'd prefer to produce 10 pound, all-White Cotons, you can do that as well. The CTCA Standard allows for a healthy range of genetic variation that reflects the original breed type. (For a look at the CTCA Standard for the Coton de Tulear, click HERE.)
Diane Callison wrote:
One thing you omitted [in the CTCA's Code of Ethics] was an "outside" age for breeding females.
We will add to the CTCA Code of Ethics: [1.] No female can be bred after her eleventh (11th) birthday, and; [2.] No female can be bred after eight years old without submitting a complete blood panel and health exam from your vet to the CTCA before the mating.
Diane Callison continues:
Most dog clubs use 8 years old for females.
We know of one professional breeder (not Cotons) who never breeds any of her bitches before they are 3.5-to-5 years old because then she can see how they've turned out. This is not an unreasonable strategy for our breed given that we now know of at least 25 genetic defects in the Coton, some of which do not manifest until early adulthood (2-4 years old).
To date, the CTCA has never had any reports of difficulties with older females giving birth. The oldest bitch to whelp was Alika's Jael of Billy, CTCA Registry #2, a female who gave birth to Bear Manor's Cesar of Alika Cotons when she was 10 years old. Jael was 15 years old when she was accidently killed. From what we've heard, Cesar, now at age 13, is quite vigorous.
As you know, the CTCA has published detailed, Coton-breed-specific information about these genetic defects previously in the Coton de Tulear News (for order information, click here).
On 5/30/98 8:17 PM, Sylvia Jordan (Chateau Tejas) wrote:
A few questions regarding the Code of Ethics. Are you going to provide sample contracts for A.5.; B.5.; and H.4.?
Code of Ethics Provisions "II.A.5" and "II.B.5," which requires a contractual agreement between the owner of a stud dog and the owner of a bitch, were required when the CTCA learned that a breeder had bred a male dog he was babysitting to his bitch without the knowledge of the male dog's owner. Indeed, the owner of the male dog learned of the mating only after the babysitter's pups had hit the ground.
In the live animal business, health guarantees (of the sort required in II.H.4) can take a variety of forms ranging from a few dollars in compensation to full replacement of an affected creature. We require such a contractual arrangement as much to promote communication between breeders and buyers than anything else. Remarkably, many buyers do not contact their breeder when their pup has a health problem. How can a breeder know the genetic quality of the pups he/she is producing without such communication?
Sylvia Jordan (Chateau Tejas) wrote:
Do I understand correctly that the breeder is basically responsible for all "potentially breedable" coton puppies until they are a year old and can be "certified" so to speak?
It is between a breeder and buyer to determine any contractual obligations that might arise should a "Potentially Breedable" pup develop into a "Not Breedable" adult Coton. Once again, this is NOT an area that the CTCA should be involved in directly. We can tell you that in our own personal breeding program (Alika Cotons), we guarantee to refund the buyer the difference in price between a "Potentially Breedable" Coton and a "Not Breedable" adult Coton should one of our pups fail its examinations.
As we all know, it is extremely difficult to predict the structure, conformation, temperament and health of an adult Coton when we are judging only the 8-12 week-old pup. Adult teeth are not present. The pup is not adult-sized or proportioned -- and crucially, the pup's genetic soundness is very much unknown. It has been clear to the CTCA that no one should breed an adult Coton on the classificatory judgment made when the pup was scarcely weaned.
Sylvia Jordan wrote:
I think that there is very good intentions behind this code, but I was quite overwhelmed just reading it. There are so many items that a breeder has to comply with before they can meet your standard.
Please note that the CTCA's Code of Ethics is designed to be an integral part of a comprehensive CTCA Breeder's Programtm which will assist both breeders and their buyers with friendly, understanding, professional, expert help from the mating through a Coton's old age. The ultimate goal of the CTCA is a cooperative community of owners who will manage a sound gene pool that will preserve the breed well into the next century. We look forward to welcoming many new breeders into the CTCA after the Breeder's Packages are mailed in June. During this past year, we have been working diligently to verify heretofore problematic pedigrees (e.g., former ACTA paperwork) just to be able to welcome additional new Cotons and owners to the CTCA.
Sylvia Jordan wrote:
I will be anxious to hear your response to Diane's questions also and any others you can share with all of us!
For technical questions about genetics or for questions of specific interest to breeding Cotons, please turn to: Breeding & Genetics
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